I know what you must be thinking: “What? Another challenge?!” But as Thanksgiving edges closer and closer south of here (tomorrow’s the big day!) and friends and family of mine get ready to travel, my thoughts fondly turn to past celebrations. Every memory of those times have several elements in common: fun, family, food, and fitness! “Fitness on Thanksgiving?” you exclaim. Yes, it’s true! Although we didn’t run races together or do workouts after our turkey meals, every Thanksgiving involved not only watching but playing football while the moms cooked in the kitchen and most included going for a brisk walk after eating the bird.
Towards the end of high school and into university (on the rare occassion that I was actually home for this holiday), my mom and I started going on a run together in the morning, and now I love marking holidays with morning runs before the festivities begin. Christmas runs are special but feel a bit forced, birthday runs make me feel accomplished, but it’s the Thanksgiving runs that make me feel glad to be alive!
So this year, as I’m beginning to miss this festive and fun food-filled day that rivals Christmas as far as family-significance in the States, I feel as though a challenge might do me some good. And because we’ve been facing -30 C mornings with temperatures not rising much by the sunny afternoons, I’m rethinking my pre-Thanksgiving strategy and wanting to mark such a day with some type of fitness fun. Whether you’re American or Canadian, why not participate in a fun little challenge to start your day off right?
So your Thanksgiving Challenge is this: enjoy a different, fun form of fitness at some point in your day. Too broad for some of you? Here are some fun options:
- Take a spin class even if you’ve been afraid to try one in the past,
- Run/walk 1 mile further than you’ve recently run,
- Try out a yoga class,
- Do a 10 min. burst of cardio around your house – run the stairs several times to get your heart pumping!
- And take part in that football game rather than watch from the sidelines!
Since I’ve been cooped up in the house for too long and have done far too many burpees, pushups sqauts, and rows, my goal for tomorrow is to take advantage of the (supposedly) rising temperatures and get out for 4 – 5 miles when the sun is nice and high in the air. 🙂
Will I have turkey? No…but I look forward to the day I’m in charge of it and have to make it! Will I have sweet potatos? Probably…but that’s a staple around here anyways. 😉 Will I have mashed potatos? Nah – they’re not my favorite anyway. What about stuffing? I won’t have it, but I’ll dream about it – I love stuffing! And cranberry sauce? Sure thing – just gotta brave the temps and get out to the store to pick some cranberries up. Pumpkin pie? Well…I do have some canned pumpkin in the pantry!
But one thing I will have is a good workout under my belt and a thankful heart. This year I am so grateful for health – not only mine, but for my husband’s, 1 1/2 years post-cancer treatments, and I’m grateful for the purpose-filled, joyful, and uncertain yet secure life that we live because of Christ. I’m grateful for a body that can move and for legs I sometimes wish were longer because they enable me to squat, jump, and run. For arms that can lift weights and lift myself up on my TRX and hug my husband and friends. I’m thankful for acceptind and supportive family, for new chances, forgiveness, redemption, and a story bigger than myself to live out.
Regardless of the country you’re living in, I’m curious to know, on this Novemeber day in 2010, what are you thankful for? And how will you use your able body to move, sweat, and celebrate life tomorrow on this Thanksgiving Challenge? Live well and be well, and eat some pumpkin pie for me tomorrow,